Client/server DBMS. What characteristics should you look for? Why?

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May 18, 2014 by Ozgur Ozden

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Before we go into details of what specifications we look for a client /server DBMS, I would like to briefly mention about what is a client and a server and their interaction.
Client/Server environment can be represented as the complete process where computing takes place. System consists of two different parts functioning autonomously as server and client. Client asks certain information from the server and the server provides these information to the client. Client is basically the interface that the user uses on his screen and analyzes, intrepid the information provided by the server. Application program located on the client machine actually analyzes and intrepid the data supplied by the server.
Server answers back to the queries sent by the client, executes the commands sent by the client. Server also manages the privileges and rights to access to the database.
Client and server may be located on the same physical computer or on different computers connected by a network.
Client/Server architecture consists of three different components as Server called as back-end Client called as front-end and middleware components to establish the communication between them, Coronel (2011).
Now let us return back to the question of which specifications do we seek for a client/server DBMS. I would like to divide the specifications that we need to look for into two groups as Technical and Managing specifications.
Technical Specifications: In this part we need to focus on the following characteristics of a client/server DBMS
Must be suitable for the current applications used in the company.
Must include data distribution capabilities. In this case we can access databases on different servers regardless of their location and clients may request data from these servers.
Transparency of the transactions. “This ensures that transactions will be competed only all the database sites involved in the transaction to complete their parts.” Coronel (2011, p518)
Must be suitable to respond to different queries written in different languages such as Java, Perl, C or C++.
Must have very good performance and must support different operating systems.

Must have an efficient data dictionary system which contains index of all the files located in the database, names of the attributes/fields, total number of records etc…
Must have a Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) support for software development.

Managing Specifications: In the management part a good DBMS must possess the following qualifications.
Must have good reporting tools
Vendor must have a good after sale service
DBMS must have backup and recovery options in case of a problem
Vendor must provide the necessary staff training for the new DBMS
Connection to other managing systems
Tools for performance measurement
Nicely designed GUI
As we can see choosing the right client/Server DBMS requires many parameters to be taken into account both from the user-end and technical point as well as management and security. With these broad explanations each business must consider its own rules and requirements and proceed accordingly.

References:
1- Coronel (2011) Database Systems: Design, Implementation, and Management. 9th Edition, Cengage Learning
2- Sanati (2011) Top 10 Reasons to Setup a Client-Server Network Online Available at: https://communities.intel.com/community/datastack/blog/2011/05/02/top-10-reasons-to-setup-a-client-server-network [accessed at: 18.10.2013]
3- microsoft, Technet (n.d.)Client/Server Architecture Online Available at:http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc917543.aspx [accessed at: 18.10.2013]

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